TORONTO — The status of Rob Ford’s health — and his political future — remained in limbo Thursday as doctors said it would be another week before they know the biopsy results of a “fair sized” tumour found in the mayor’s abdomen.
“He is resting comfortably, he has some pain, we are giving him some pain medication for that,” said Dr. Zane Cohen, an internationally recognized colorectal surgeon at Mount Sinai Hospital.
“He’s surrounded by family members.”
Ford, 45, whose crack cocaine scandal and antics in office have made him the world’s most infamous mayor, was admitted to the west-end Humber River Hospital on Wednesday after complaining for months about abdominal pain that finally became “unbearable.”
Ford’s brother, Coun. Doug Ford, called the news of the tumour “devastating” for the mayor’s family. He said the mayor was “doing all right” and keeping “in good spirits.”
Ford’s wife, Renata, also visited him Thursday but left without saying anything to reporters gathered outside the hospital.
Ford was transferred Thursday afternoon to Mount Sinai Hospital where he underwent a CT scan and doctors did a biopsy of the mass found in his lower abdomen.
Dr. Cohen, who leads the clinical team treating the mayor, said Ford will undergo an MRI on Friday.
“We will not have the results of the biopsy for another week and when that happens, we will inform the family and we will proceed from there,” he said.
When asked whether he’s seen masses of a similar size as the one in Ford’s abdomen that are benign, Dr. Cohen answered “Yes.”
Ford has until 2 p.m. eastern Friday to withdraw his name from the ballot should he decide to do so, while any new candidates have the same deadline to file their papers.
His brother said it was still too early to discuss the issue.
“Guys, I need a day or so, honestly I do,” Doug Ford said earlier Thursday.
Ford’s father, Doug Ford Sr., died of colon cancer in 2006 — just months after it was diagnosed.
Ford himself had abdominal surgery in 2009 to remove a tumour on his appendix.
“That’s pretty scary when that happens,” he told CTV in an interview in September 2010.
While the nature of the current tumour remained unclear, several cancer experts said doctors were likely considering the possibility of colorectal cancer.
The tumour diagnosis came just over two months after Ford returned to office from a stint in rehab that followed a scandal-plagued year in which council stripped him of most of his powers after he was forced to admit to using crack cocaine in a “drunken stupor” and was caught on video and audio recordings in profanity-laced rants.
Ford’s litany of woes, gaffes and outrageous conduct, made him an international celebrity and news of the tumour discovery was reported by media around the world, including CNN and the BBC.
Latest polls suggested he was still a viable candidate for re-election.
His hospitalization sparked an outpouring of sympathy — even from those who want him gone from the city’s government.